Wednesday, October 08, 2003James Lileks is my kind of writer. Anyone that can cook up "The Grooviest Motel In Wisconsin," "The Gallery of Regrettable Food" - and maintain an archive of Lost American Kitsch has my lifetime, card-carrying vote.
Sure, he's got a radio show now and all, but he's still a writer ferchrissakes. Every weekday morning I try to click my mouse on the Bleat, to see what he's cooked up for the day. He calls them "dashed-off essays," but more often then not there's a needle-sharp observation on the human condition hidden in his haystacks of curmudgeonly wit and blow-by-blow of new fatherhood.
Today, he continues his live coverage of a trip to the Big Apple, Two-double-oh-trey style:
Coming up 7th, around 26th street. A car is attempting to nose through an intersection. There are no other cars in front of it, but a large crowd has decided that it will just cross the street against the light. As the car inches forward at a rate somewhat slower than continental drift, a sullen young man with his arm draped around his girlfriend walks in front of the vehicle. The car continues to move forward, moving perhaps half an inch, attempting to imply that it does sort of kinda have, you know, right of way?Now that's a couple of paragraphs only a hardass newspaperman with a toddler named Gnat could spit out...and dash off.
The young man glowers at the car. Bitch, he mutters, I outta blow you fukatta tha car.
The woman behind the wheel was roughly the same age and size as the girlfriend. Nevermind him; dime a dozen and overpriced at that. But what of the girlfriend? What goes through her mind when her boyfriend casually remarks that he feels like shooting someone who’s attempting to go through a crosswalk on a green light? Yes, yes, figure of speech. But not one that rises to the lips of a good man. Maybe that’s the attraction; wouldn’t be the first time. But you see them two years down the road - she has the baby, he’s gone, she’s blaming everyone but herself for what happened. Girl, that was your cue, right there at 7th and 26th.
Maybe she’ll heed it.